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ADB awarded for progress towards workplace gender equality

Video | 20 March 2019

ADB achieves EDGE Move certification recognizing its strong commitment to workplace gender equality. EDGE stands for Economic Dividends for Gender Equality.


We are proud that we are the first international financial institution to attain the EDGE Move Certification.

Text: Launched at the World Economic Forum in 2011, Economic Dividends for Gender Equality (EDGE) certification uses a rigorous analytical third-party approach to measure where organizations stand in terms of workplace gender equality.

Text: It is remarkable to see the progress ADB had made since its initial EDGE Certification 2 years ago. This is a result of highly focused and structured approach to accelerate its progress – Aniela Ungresan, Co-founder of EDGE Certified Foundation.

In its corporate strategy 2030, ADB declared it would include actions to accelerate gender equality in 75% of all projects in Asia-Pacific.

Across the region, these projects support women’s economic empowerment, human development, and leadership. Walking the talk within ADB by progressing workplace gender equality is key to ADB’s success and credibility.

I’m ADB’s first female Country Director for the operations in Cambodia. During recent CPS consultations, we have visited a place [called] Kratie in Cambodia. And at the end of the presentation, one young lady got up, and she said to me: “I’m so proud of you. I’m so proud to be seeing that ADB has a female leader. This gives me a lot of inspiration.” All I can say is that I was personally so touched. And I think for ADB to be walking the talk really makes a huge impact not only for current generation but also for future women.

Having more women at the top levels inspires me in my work. Gender diversity is key to ADB’s success. When we have diversity in leadership roles and everyone’s contribution in decision making is acknowledged, we make better choices as an organization. More women at the top levels and making them publicly visible also has the potential of inspiring other organizations, globally, to do the same.

Men need to role model appropriate professional and civil behaviors with regards to gender. You have sons: teach them. You have daughters: teach them.

In 2016, ADB Management approved a series of actions to improve workplace gender equality, with a focus on hiring, developing, and retaining more women professionals, including in senior roles. These actions were identified as a result of staff feedback, as well as third-party expertise from EDGE. Since then, in a relatively short period, ADB has progressed women’s representation including in top management positions by 14 percentage points. Our experience shows that with concerted efforts by managers and staff, as well as the sustained commitment from the top of the organization, it is possible to make a difference.

Text: “I expect the strong support of all to continue to promote and strengthen diversity, inclusiveness, and gender equality at ADB. This is central to our effectiveness as an organization.” – President Takehiko Nakao, Asian Development Bank.

Although we are pleased with our progress, we still have more work to do to achieve our workplace gender equality goals. We must continue the sustained focus and commitment.